Our Staff
Silvi Sullivan, B.S.N., M.A.T., M.Ed.
Director 

 

Hello! I'm Silvi, the Director of Water of Life Lutheran School. I’m thrilled to be a part of this wonderful ministry; it's a combination of my greatest passions- educating children and sharing the love of our gracious Savior.

Ministry work has been a part of my life 20 years. I have served the church in many different ways, everything from church program development, and Sunday School Assistant Superintendent, to Sunday School teacher and Youth Group leader.

 

I've been involved in education for almost 20 years. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Arts in Teaching, and a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. I'm a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Lutheran Education Association (LEA). I enjoy spending time with family, cross-stitch, cooking, hiking, reading, and movies. But most of all, I love being an educator. 

 

I've raised two daughters and have had a wide variety of life experiences: pediatric nurse, traveling extensively, living in every part of the country as well as overseas, and owning a business, among others. I'm also bilingual (German). So, I understand and appreciate the challenges facing today's families; I'm here for you and your children.

 

At Water of Life Lutheran School, we care deeply about a most precious treasure, your children. We're profoundly committed to the spiritual and emotional nurturing they'll receive here; to help them grow in their understanding of the God who loves them. We’re also committed to their intellectual and physical growth. It's our goal to help each and every child realize their potential, and find joy in the discovery and learning process!

 

Please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions or concerns!
(Photo by Jody Rael, Jody Rael Photography)



Teachers
We are very excited about the talented teaching staff at Water of Life Lutheran School! Together, we have a combined total of over 40 years of experience as educators. We have a passion for teaching, and are looking forward to nurturing the intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth of your child. All of our staff have had thorough FBI background checks and have a Sheriff's Card clearing them to work with children. 


Silvi Sullivan, B.S.N., M.A.T., M.Ed.

Ms Sullivan has her B.S.N. degree from Oregon Health and Science University, her M.A.T. from Kaplan University, and her M.Ed. from Grand Canyon University. She has been extensively involved in every aspect of education- teaching, program development, curriculum development, and administration

Ms Sullivan has a unique approach to educating young children that gives them an opportunity to grow and develop in all areas. Her approach helps them gain critical skills that are an important part of the foudation that will support future academic success. She has a special place in her heart for the youngest of the school's students. She is an educator who is passionate about teaching children and sharing God's love with them.
 

Sue Heinitz, M.S.Ed. 


Mrs Heinitz is an experienced educator with both a Bachelor's degree and Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Martin Luther College, the teacher preparation college for the WELS. In addition to being a gifted educator, she has a great deal of music background- she has extensive experience in leading and directing children’s choir, has additional training in working with children and music, and as a piano teacher. Mrs Heinitz plays piano, organ, and trumpet. She also serves as a church organist. 

Sue is a published author; click here to read her article that appeared in the August 2014 issue of Parent's Crosslink, a publication of the Northwestern Publishing House.

 

Sue is a warm and caring teacher who absolutely loves children! She brings an energy and creativity to her class that instills a love for learning in her students. She is excited to be a part of a ministry that gives her the opportunity to share God’s love with her students and their families.


Mrs Heinitz and her husband have four children who are eleven, ten, and six year-old twins. (Photo by Katy Miller, Katy Miller Photography)
 

Jenny Otto, BS 

Mrs Otto has a true gift for teaching students and inspiring them to love learning. She has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Martin Luther College, the teacher preparation college for the WELS. She has also completed additional professional development through Graduate classes at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Jenny is bilingual in Spanish and English, and has expertise in teaching non-English speaking students. In addition to being an experienced classroom teacher, Jenny has a wide range of talents that she brings to our Kindergarten program, including developing a school especially for Spanish speaking students and playing the piano and organ. She also has an extensive background serving as a church organist.

Jenny has a heart and passion for teaching young children, and sharing God’s love with them. She finds the greatest joy in helping her students grow and develop. She is deeply committed to bringing the highest quality instruction into her classroom, and is always seeking ways to make every day a better, richer, learning experience for her students. Jenny is absolutely thrilled to be a part of our school. She looks forward every morning to creating an engaging and happy environment in her class. Her students can always look forward to highly creative and interesting lessons, that reach beyond the ordinary. 

Jenny is the wife of Pastor Tim Otto, of Mount Olive Lutheran Church (a member church of the WELS). In addition to teaching at Water of Life Lutheran School, she is helping Pastor Otto reach out into the Spanish speaking community on the East side of Las Vegas. 

Mrs Otto and Pastor Otto have four children who are twelve, ten, and seven year-old twins.
(Photo by Jennifer Shepherd, JennLynn Photograpy)

Jessica Wills, BS

Mrs Wills is a graduate of University of Nevada, Reno, with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Her experience and skill, and her love for being in the classroom make her a gifted teacher. In addition to a degree in education, Jessica has completed Graduate level coursework in Elementary Literacy. 

Jessica also has an extensive dance background that encompasses many different dance genres. She brings this expertise into the classroom and includes it in the many opportunities her students have for gross motor development and movement. Both are an important part of the daily learning experiences in Mrs Wills’ class. 

Mrs Wills loves inspiring young minds to read, write, and think. She is a warm and caring teacher, who brings a smile and positive energy into her classroom each day. Her students continually benefit from the creativity she brings to lessons and learning activities. Her classroom is the perfect example of how we surround our students with God’s love, and nurture their growth and development in many different ways. She is so very happy to be a member of our teaching team!

Mrs Wills and her husband have two children, who are six and four years-old. 
(Photo by Jennifer Shepherd, JennLynn Photograpy)

Jackie Unke, BS

Mrs Unke has an extensive and experience-rich background that she loves sharing with our students. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Martin Luther College, the teacher preparation college for the WELS. She has wonderful musical gifts which include playing piano, organ, and guitar. In addition to teaching in the classroom, her background includes many years of teaching piano, directing children’s choir, and coaching children’s volleyball. 

Jackie loves working with children. She brings this caring for her students, and her enjoyment in teaching them, into every interaction with each child. Her experience makes her especially suited to working towards meeting the individual learning needs of every student. Jackie’s life’s work has centered around sharing the love of our gracious God with families and students. She feels very blessed to have a part in the ministry of education and sharing God’s love with the students at our school. She also shares her love for music through providing piano lessons for children ages 4 years-old and up.

Jackie is the wife of Pastor Tom Unke. Pastor Unke is the pastor at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, which is a member church of the WELS. Shepherd of the Hills serves the communities of northwest Las Vegas. 

Mrs Unke and Pastor Unke have four grown children, three of whom are involved in ministry work.

Zach Unke, BS 

Mr Unke is a Cum Laude graduate of Martin Luther College (MLC), the teacher preparation college for the WELS. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Education, with an additional specialty in Music Education.

Zach has had a great deal of experience in working with children which includes: teaching piano; participating in education workshops and seminars; directing children’s choir; Sunday School teacher; and participating extensively in one day church events for children. 

In addition to his expertise in teaching, Zach brings an incredible repertoire of musical abilities and skills to our school: he has had extensive experience in solo voice and college choir opportunities; he plays the piano, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, and clarinet; he was a member of the MLC Wind Ensemble and the MLC Orchestra; participated in theatre at MLC; and choir directing.

Mr Unke is an accomplished concert pianist and composer. He has published numerous pieces, has released three CDs of his compositions, and is working on a fourth CD. (visit his website by clicking here ) His music serves to share his faith in God with others. He also shares his faith by serving as a church organist. 

Zach brings his love for God, his love for teaching, and his love for music, into the classroom every day. He has a kind heart that makes him uniquely suited to working with our students. He finds great joy in spending time sharing our loving Savior with all of our students, and in helping them learn about the world around them. 

Zach is the son of Pastor Tom and Jackie Unke, who are currently shepherding the flock at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (a member church of the WELS). He has a brother, and two sisters. 
(Photo by Jennifer Shepherd, JennLynn Photography)


 

Kate Currah- BS pending 
 

Mrs Currah is completing her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education through Grand Canyon University. While pursuing her studies she has earned a place on the Dean's List, the President's List, and is a member of two national academic honor societies. She has served as the second teacher in our Pre-K class alongside Mrs Heinitz, and in our Preschool Class alongside Ms Sullivan. In the future she will continue to pursue an additional degree in Special Education.

In addition to her Education studies, Kate has an extensive background in Religious studies, and has participated in numerous education workshops, seminars, and training opportunities. She has already gained experience in working with Special Education students through the Mark 10:14 Program for special needs students at Faith Lutheran High School. Additionally, her background includes working with children through our church's programs for children: Vacation Bible School, one day events such as Christmas for Kids and Creation for Kids, specialized one-week events such as Bible Soccer Camp, and teaching Sunday School.

Kate has a musical background through her participation in church and college choirs, playing the piano, and beginning to study guitar.

Mrs Currah has a special gift for working with children. Her love for young children and her love for ministry work make her especially happy to be a part of our school.


(Photo by Jennifer Shepherd, JennLynn Photograpy)

Note- WELS refers to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, our church's national governing body. Water of Life, Shepherd of the Hills, and Mount Olive are all members of the WELS. Other WELS churches in Las Vegas include Summerlin Lutheran Church, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, and Green Valley Lutheran Church.

A ministry of Water of Life Lutheran Church; offering Preschool, Pre-K, & Kindergarten to Summerlin, Spring Valley, & Rhodes Ranch areas of southwest Las Vegas.